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David Sparks Ph.d Idaho Wine Rave
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: May 10, 2017

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A blog from the Idaho Farm Bureau quoted the Chicago Tribune as recognizing the Idaho wine industry’s excellence. They wrote an article in the food and dining section and it was a glowing feature story on Idaho's thriving wine industry. Here is Brenna Christison from the Idaho Wine commission: Idaho’s vineyards are located at a higher elevation than most others in the Northwest. Gem State soils are comprised of volcanic ash. The long summer days and cool summer nights produce grapes with concentrated fruit flavors and high acidities. Austin says that he altitude, soil, the long days and cool nights add up to an amalgam of perfection. 

Columnist Michael Austin wrote: “They don't call it the Gem State for nothing; the place has good growing soil, and for close to 50 years, a small portion of it has been dedicated to growing commercial wine grapes. Idaho's climate is well suited for such a crop, and most of it grows at relatively high elevation, somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 feet. The state enjoys long, sunny days (for ripening) and cool high-altitude nights (for retaining acidity). Daily temperature shifts of 40 degrees are not out of the question in some vineyard locations.”

Austin wrote that establishing a wine industry takes time. 

“By 2002 there were still only 11 wineries giving it a go in Idaho. One of them was Ste. Chapelle, which opened in the mid-'70s and remains the state's largest winery. By 2009 there were more than 40 wineries, and less than a decade later, there are more than 50. It's a small group of like-minded folk and a small collection of grapevines. Outside of the Snake River Valley, there are only about an additional 150 acres of vines planted,” Austin wrote.

The story features a photo from the Crossings Winery in Glenns Ferry and then kicks off  the story talking about Idaho’s mammoth potato crop. He stated what all Idahoans know, that the Gem State has the perfect growing climate for dozens of Idaho crops.

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